Financial Support & Resources
We would like to thank Central Saanich’s business community for all the measures they have taken to minimize the spread of COVID-19. While supports for businesses are being put in place, not all program details are available yet. In addition to the information below, we recommend paying attention to the news regularly. These outlets will be the first to announce the plans and resources that will be available to support businesses. We will update this page as new information becomes available.
Tax Cuts and Payment Extensions
- The due date for Central Saanich property taxes is July 2, 2020, and we ask those who can pay on time to please do so. To assist those facing financial hardship, Council has extended the penalty dates for property tax payments: Residential, utility and farm property owners have until July 31, 2020, to pay without a penalty; a 3% penalty will be applied after that and an additional 7% penalty after September 30, 2020. Business, industrial, and recreational property owners have until September 30, 2020, after which there is a 10% penalty.
- The District of Central Saanich – The budget was reduced by almost $177,000 in planned spending, accounts for a decrease in revenue and includes use of a $400,000 financial stabilization reserve fund as a pandemic contingency. The tax increase was reduced to 2.85% and supports the basic municipal services and key projects and initiatives to move the District forward during the anticipated recovery period.
- The Province of BC has announced businesses with a payroll over $500,000 can defer their employer health tax payments until Sept. 30, 2020. Businesses with a payroll under this threshold are already exempt from the tax.
- The Province of BC is extending filing and payment deadlines for the following taxes until September 30, 2020: Employer health tax, Provincial sales tax (including municipal and regional district tax*), Carbon tax, Motor fuel tax and Tobacco tax.
- The scheduled April 1 increase to the provincial carbon tax, as well as the new PST registration requirements on e-commerce and the implementation of PST on sweetened carbonated drinks, will be delayed and their timing will be reviewed by Sept. 30, 2020.
- The province is cutting school taxes for commercial property classes 4-8. This will have the impact of an overall reduction of approximately 25% on these property's taxes.
- Federal GST and HST payments, as well as duties and taxes owed on imports, will be deferred until June. https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
Help with utilities
- Central Saanich water and sewer bill – The District has extended the utility bill payment discount from the usual 30 days to 90 days; this applies for both the spring (May) and summer (September) bills.
- BC Hydro Customers can defer bill payments or arrange for flexible payment plans with no penalty through the COVID-19 Customer Assistance Program. Customers experiencing job loss, illness or lost wages due to COVID-19 can access grants up to $600 to pay their hydro bills through the Customer Crisis Fund
- Shaw – Shaw has opened up access to Shaw Go WiFi whether or not you’re a customer. For customers concerned with paying their monthly Shaw Internet bill due to hardship resulting from the COVID-19 situation, a flexible payment arrangement can be arranged: contact via chat or by phone at 1-844-330-7429.
- Telus – Until the end of April, waiving home internet coverage charges for customers who are not on unlimited data plans and waiving all Easy Roam and pay-per-use roaming charges for postpaid customers that are stranded outside North America and are unable to return to Canada. Telus also has an Internet for Good provides discounted high-speed Internet at a rate of $9.95/month to low-income families who are recipients of the maximum Child Care Benefit and have a net income of less than or equal to $31,120. Eligible families can apply at telus.com/internetforgood. Mobility for Good provides a free smartphone and wireless plan to youth that have aged out of foster care. Eligible youth can apply at telus.com/mobilityforgood.
- Fortis BC – Encourages customers to contact them if they’re having issue with affording their bill.
- ICBC – Customers on a monthly payment plan who are facing financial challenges due to COVID-19 may defer their payment for up to 90 days with no penalty.
- The Government of Canada's Temporary Wage Subsidy for Employers allows eligible employers facing a decline in revenues of to reduce the amount of payroll deductions required to be remitted to the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA). If you are eligible as an employer, you can reduce your current remittance of federal, provincial, or territorial income tax that you send to the CRA by the amount of the subsidy.
- For those who receive federal Employment Insurance (EI), or the new Canada Emergency Response Benefit as a result of COVID-19 impacts, a new B.C. Emergency Benefit for Workers will provide a tax-free $1,000 payment to British Columbians whose ability to work has been affected by the outbreak. The benefit will be a one-time payment for British Columbians. This includes workers who have been laid-off, who are sick or quarantined, parents with sick children, parents who stay at home from work while child care centres and schools are closed, and those caring for sick family members, such as an elderly parent. The workers can be EI-eligible and non-EI eligible, such as the self-employed. The benefit will be paid to B.C. residents, in addition to their federal income supports.
- The federal government has promised to guarantee loans of up to $40,000 for small businesses which will be interest-free for the first year.
- The federal government is delaying the repayment of student loans by three months.
- Starting March 30, 2020, B.C. student loan payments are automatically frozen for six months.
- Federal Employment Insurance: To receive regular EI, you must have lost your job through no fault of your own, including lay-offs. EI sickness benefits include being unable to work because of illness or quarantine. If approved, the maximum amount paid out for EI is $573 a week. To apply for EI benefits, you can visit the website. Afterwards, you can apply to have the one-week waiting period waived by calling the government's toll-free number at 1-833-381-2725.
- Canada Emergency Response Benefit: The federal government is working on a benefit that would provide $2,000 per month for four months to those who have lost employment due to COVID-19. https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan.html
- Canada Child Benefit: The federal government is increasing the child benefit to $300/month per child.
- Seniors: Seniors who qualify for Old Age Security (OAS) will be eligible for a one-time, tax-free payment of $300, and those eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement (GIS) will get an extra $200.
- A one-time enhancement to the climate action tax credit will be paid in July 2020 for moderate to low-income families: An adult will receive up to $218 (increased from $43.50) A child will receive $64 (increased from $12.75).
Disability Assistance: New emergency supports for people in B.C. currently receiving income or disability assistance: https://news.gov.bc.ca/21940
Rent and Mortgage Payments
To assist struggling small business tenants (must pay less than $50,000/month in rent and experienced a revenue decline of at least 70 per cent), the federal and provincial governments are co-launching a program to provide non-repayable loans to commercial property owners to cover 50 per cent of rent payments for April, May and June 2020. The loans will be forgiven if the property owner agrees to cut the rent by at least 75 per cent for those months and promises not to evict the tenant. The small business tenant must cover the remaining portion of the rent, which would be up to 25 per cent. Non-profit and charitable organizations are also eligible. Details will be posted here, when ready.
The Province of BC has announced a rebate of up to $500/month for tenants who can’t work because of the outbreak, with the money going directly to their landlords; a freeze on the vast majority of evictions; and a rent freeze retroactive to the beginning of March. See: https://www.bchousing.org/BCTRS
- Many financial institutions are offering deferral options on mortgage payments. Please check with yours for details and to see if you qualify.
Funding for Business
On March 18, 2020, the Government of Canada announced they will provide up to $27 billion to support Canadian workers and businesses. While the government has announced various support resources, they are still working on the criteria and process of applying. When details are available, they will be posted here: https://www.bdc.ca/en/pages/special-support.aspx?special-initiative=covid19
Funding programs currently available:
- Check www.gov.bc.ca for the latest updates regarding support to businesses.
- up to $100,000 can be obtained online in as little at 48 hours from time to approval.
- Working capital loan – Get extra funds to bridge cash flow gaps and support everyday operations.
- Purchase Order Financing – Increase your cash flow to fulfill domestic or international orders with flexible terms.
Credit for Farmers
- Farm Credit Canada - As of March 23, FCC has $5 billion in additional lending capacity. Apply on their website.
- B.C. Business COVID-19 Support Service: 1 833-254-4357 or visit covid.smallbusinessbc.ca to find out more about the supports in place to help you.
- Government of Canada Economic Response Plan
- BC Chamber of Commerce
- South Island Prosperity Project - COVID Resources
- Small Business BC: Resources for Small Businesses Affected by COVID-19
- British Columbia Economic Development Association
- Work Safe BC COVID-19 Resources
- Mapped list of open businesses on the Peninsula
- Support Local YYJ Gift Card Directory
- YYJ Locals for Locals - A team of volunteers to support local businesses during the COVID-19 crisis made up of tech and marketing professionals. Some of their pro-bono services: